Finding Primary & Secondary Sources: Guide Home
Use the links below to learn the difference between a primary source and secondary source. Primary sources can vary depending on the subject. Use the links in the "search by subject" box (below) to find sources.
|What is a Primary Source? - Primary sources are records that provide first-hand testimony or evidence of an event, action, topic, or time period.||What is a Secondary Source? - Secondary sources put primary sources in context. They summarize, interpret, analyze, or comment on information found in primary sources.|
Letter from King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598). Courtesy, L.Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library,
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602. http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/Philip2Corr/id/251/rec/56
Finding Primary and Secondary Sources by Subject
|Search for PRIMARY Sources by Subject|
- African American & Diaspora Studies - Journals, historic newspapers, poetry, images and more.
- Diversity in Education - Primary sources for African-Americans, American-Indians, Latinos & women's rights issues.
- Drug Literature Evaluation - Primary source (clinical trials, experiments, scientific discoveries) and secondary sources (reviews and interpretations of primary sources) from PubMed and Cochrane Library.
- History - Primary sources for United States History, Civil War, U.S. West History, European, Middle Eastern & East Asian history.
- Literature - Links to original works on Project Gutenberg, Early English Books Online (EEBO), American Poets, British Periodicals and more...
- Native American Indian Studies - Digital collections containing narratives, letters, treaties, census rolls etc.and also more government information on paper & Microfilm.
- Political Science & Global Studies - Links to Resources such as news articles, TV/radio broadcast transcripts, and government documents.
- Life Sciences - Primary source documents in the Sciences (biology, ecology, chemistry) focus on original research, ideas, or findings published in academic journals. These articles mark the first publication of such research; and they detail the researcher’s methodology and results. Plant or mineral samples and other artifacts are primary sources as well.
- Engineering - design notes, patents, conference proceedings, technical reports, and field surveys.
- Women & Gender-studies - Links to primary sources such as letters & diaries about women's rights and gender issues.
Use the UW Catalog to Find Sources
Use the Catalog Search option on the UW Libraries homepage to find primary sources about a person or event. Search using some of the keywords that describe your subject in combination with one or more of the following terms:
|travelers||papers of ...||travelers' writings|
Example: immigrants and (letters or correspondence or diaries)
“And” narrows your results.
“Or” is more and is used primarily with synonyms or related terms. Best to put “or” terms in parentheses.
Truncation: A search term can be shortened by using a * as a truncation symbol. This allows one search to retrieve singular or plural forms, different spellings of a word or name, or different forms of a word. However, this may widen your search too much so use it carefully.
For example: travel* will retrieve: travel, travels, traveler, traveller, travelers, travellers, traveling, traveled
This LibGuide was created by Shari Salisbury a Librarian at University of Texas at San Antonio. Other users of LibGuides are welcome to use this Guide as a template and to make changes as necessary to fit their custom needs.
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